Sunday, 31 March 2013
The Little Owl appeared on his usual sweet chestnut tree this morning -- and went in a couple of minutes before I arrived and didn't emerge, so no picture. This tree is the second tree from the path at the southeast corner of the leaf yard. Still no sign of the Tawny Owl family despite several people searching the area.
There were singing Greenfinches beside the Long Water, and a small flock of chattering Goldfinches.
On the Serpentine island, a Grey Heron had restarted nest building after an interval of inactivity. Here it its having a desperate struggle to wrench off a twig, nearly overbalancing in the process ...
... and here it has succeeded and brings the twig back to its huge and chaotic nest.
This is a nest left over from last year and you might have thought it was big enough for the most demanding bird, but apparently for a heron there is no such thing as a nest that is too large.
A pair of Mandarins has come under the bridge from the Long Water on to the Serpentine. Since they nest in trees, they are not particularly tied to any place on the water.
In contrast, the Great Crested Grebes at the east end of the Serpentine, whose nest was taken over by Coots, have neither forgiven nor forgotten. Here they are ostensibly resting, but actually crowding the Coot so that it feels uncomfortable and has stood up defensively.
They can tip it off its nest any time they like, but Coots come back time and time again, and eventually win these contests by sheer persistence.
Here are two second-year big gulls. Last year they would have been hard to tell apart, but the adult feathers beginning to grow on their backs reveal that the one on the left is a Lesser Black-Backed Gull and the one on the right is a Herring Gull.